Workplace Eye Awareness Month: Common Causes Of Eye Injuries At Work

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Workplace Eye Awareness Month: Common Causes Of Eye Injuries At Work

When you’re working with power tools, chemicals, steam, or other potential dangers, you should always wear safety glasses. Your eyes are incredibly delicate and any type of impact, debris, or chemicals in or near the eyes can be painful and can cause damage. Wearing safety glasses is the easiest way to protect yourself against avoidable eye emergencies, as an estimated 90% of all work-related eye injuries are preventable. Another way to help keep your eyes safe is to ensure your workstation is cleared of any debris or items that can go flying and know the risks of any chemicals you are working with. Here are some of the most common causes of eye injury so that you can be aware of these hazards and avoid them by wearing proper safety equipment.

Common Injuries

Small Particles
Whenever you are working in an environment with sawdust, cement chips, wood splinters, metal slivers, or another material that can send small pieces into the air, your eyes are at risk. If any of these pieces hit the eye, even if they are small, they can irritate the eye, scratch the cornea, or become trapped under the eyelid.

Larger pieces of materials you are working with can easily go flying; pieces of wood or metal can be propelled by machinery, as can nails, screws, staples, and other objects. If one of these objects hits your eye, it can cause blunt force trauma or it can pierce the eye, causing immediate and irreparable vision damage or vision loss. If you do get struck in the eye, it is an eye emergency and you need to go to an optometrist clinic right away.

Chemical Burns
Not every eye injury happens in a workshop or is from a sharp object, as some people believe. When you’re working with chemicals, burns can occur when the chemicals splash or if the fumes of the chemicals are strong. Chemical burns don’t only happen in science labs; industrial chemicals or cleaning products are strong enough to seriously damage the eye. If you do get chemical burns on your eyes, immediately use an eyewash station and then get eye emergency medical help at an optometrist's clinic.

Thermal Burns
The bright light produced when welding can cause thermal burns to the eyes and the skin around the eyes if proper UV protection eyewear is not worn. Steam can also burn the eyes. If you work with equipment that has hot steam, such as a boiler, or if you work in a kitchen, bursts of hot air or steam can easily burn the face or eyes.

Visit Specs in the City For Your Eye Emergencies

If you have suffered an eye emergency, contact Specs in the City immediately and we will do everything in our power to see you as quickly as possible. As your vision is likely impaired, have someone drive you to our clinic in SE Calgary. Specs in the City always takes walk-ins for eye emergencies and our experienced Calgary optometrists will quickly assess the damage suffered and what steps to take next. Being proactive and addressing the issue immediately will grant you quick treatment that will help prevent vision loss, lower the likelihood of spreading contagious diseases or infections, reduce pain, and help you have a quick and full recovery. For any questions or concerns, call Specs in the City at 1-403-252-2020.


Q: Are eye emergencies covered by insurance?
A: Yes, Alberta Health care covers all emergency eye care visits to Specs in the City.

Q: I had an eye emergency a while ago and I want to check on my recovery. What can I do?
A: Schedule an eye exam with Specs in the City to have an experienced optometrist assess your eye health and what steps can be taken to assist healing.

Q: If I suffer an eye injury while wearing contacts should I take them out before seeing an optometrist?
A: No. Trying to remove the contact lens after suffering an eye injury may further damage your eye.

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